The story concerns Paul Dombey, the wealthy owner of the shipping company of the book's title, whose dream is to have a son to continue his business. The book begins when his son is born, and Dombey's wife dies shortly after giving birth. Following the advice of Mrs Louisa Chick, his sister, Dombey employs a wet nurse named Mrs Richards (Toodle). Dombey already has a daughter, Florence, whom he neglects.
This dark study of pride is a pivotal if unappreciated work in Dickens's oeuvre. Dickens focuses on the Dombey family, eschewing his idiosyncratic panoramic scope and ensemble casts. David Timson is a dream casting; he endows each character with depth, personality and pathos, again displaying why he is a perennial favorite in audio narration. This abridgment offers about one-third of the full text, which will serve the casual listener well without burdening their wallet or commandeering the listening schedule.